Shape—March 2, 2015
The perfect post-gym routine is easier said than done. But how you handle those 30 minutes immediately following a sweat session is just as important as the workout. Since we know it’s impossible to snack, stretch, and shower all at once, we recruited three top experts to weigh in and prioritize your post-sweat session routine—so you don’t have to.
1 of 3 0:00-10:00 Minutes: Stretch and Roll
The very first and most important thing you should do following a workout is stretch while your muscles are still warm. “You need to stretch before the muscles have time to cool down, which takes 30-40 minutes,” says Jordan D. Metzl, MD, a doctor of sports medicine at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City. “When the muscle cools, it contracts, and if you try to loosen it up, you can cause injury,” he says. Metzl recommends at least five minutes of stretching after a workout followed by five minutes of ironing out the kinks with a foam roller for proper recovery. “Ten minutes total is realistic for most people.”
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